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How long are diseases contagious if you are taking antibiotics?

By February 7, 2009 - 3:33pm
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I heard once that if you have something that is contagious, for example, respiratory diseases and you are taking an antibiotic, you are no longer communicable. Is this correct? If this is incorrect, how long does it take for you to become non-contagious?

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EmpowHER Guest

My Dr diagnosed me with pneumonia, I've been on antibiotic (Zithromax for 5 days) for a little over 2 days. Am I still contagious? I still need to blow my nose and am coughing up mucus. Could you tell me your expertise? Thanks so much.

October 19, 2014 - 9:08am
EmpowHER Guest

is MRSA contagious if sick person is taking antibiotics ?

May 19, 2012 - 7:51pm

Cindy, good question, thanks for asking!

It really depends on the infection or illness that you are talking about. Many things that a person would be on antibiotics for are not contagious -- ear infections, or sinus infections, etc.

And many things that are contagious are not something you'd take antibiotics for -- a cold, for instance, or chicken pox. Even if a doctor has prescribed you antibiotics for a secondary infection (like bronchitis, for instance) the cold is still contagious as long as you are sneezing and coughing (though it's most contagious in the first few days).

Usually, the a general guideline would be that a person is not contagious after 48 hours' worth of antibiotics. With strep throat, a general guideline is 24 hours.

February 9, 2009 - 10:21am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Diane Porter)

I Just wanted to let you know that the link you posted for children's hospital is incorrect. It comes up as something else. You might want to correct the url. Thanks! Your information was extremely helpful!

July 22, 2010 - 9:26pm
Expert HERWriter Guide Blogger (reply to Anonymous)

Thank you! The link is no longer available so I have removed it. Thanks for letting us know.

July 23, 2010 - 4:39pm
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